Next it was time to move onto the fingerboard. I drilled the holes for the position markers using an 8mm bradawl bit before I glued on the fingerboard because I didn't want to risk damaging the finish in the drill press. Next I removed the masking tape from the body and dry-clamped the fingerboard into position. I drilled two small pilot holes through the board and into the body for locating pins when the board was being glued on (I know from experience that things can slide about once that slippery glue is applied). I unclamped the board, tapped a couple of panel pins through the pilot holes, and applied Titebond glue to the bottom of the fingerboard. After carefully lining up the panel pins with the pilot holes in the body, I tapped them in a bit and clamped everything down to glue overnight.
After removing the panel pins, I glued in the pearl dots. Although installing frets on a brand-new fretboard is actually much easier than you'd imagine, there's not much point when you're building a lap steel: the ‘frets' are merely visual markers, so I used 0.02" white binding strips instead. The fingerboard slots were 0.023" so the binding just tapped in, and it was such a tight fit I didn't even need glue. The whole procedure took just a few minutes, and I sanded everything flush using asanding block. It's best to fit the ‘frets' with the fingerboard already installed because if you tap them in beforehand they will cause the fingerboard to curve, and this will make it harder to glue down.
4. Lap Of Luxury - Gluing and Routing